Mega Shark Vs Mecha Shark
Recently I had the opportunity to review the very first movie that I traveled on a subway, away from home to watch. The film was ‘King Kong Versus Godzilla’ and although not the best representative of either creature feature franchise is very relevant the box. It also retains a halo effect for me personally because it stands as a milestone in my still growing maturation movies. As it so happened, I came across a movie with an extremely similar plot and decided it might be interesting to take a pause from the post-Oscar they lose exceptionally good movies and cleanse my palate with a really awful one, ‘Mega Shark Vs Mecha Shark’. This particular flick is shown on the SyFy network in January 2014. I have a rather unusual schedule, one not conducive to a normal circadian rhythm) to catch the movies like this during what is euphemistically known as ‘the wee hours of the night’. Understandably I was drawn to the similarities between this and the film that holds such a special place in my memory. The SyFy movies such as this are typically shown on Saturday night and almost all of the broadcast and cable networks have abandoned original programming in favor of reruns. Most are made for less than $5 million and typically feature one or more actors well known in the science fiction fandom, they are often augmented by cast members of other, now defunct, popular television shows. Literally this must be a step down for these actors established skills, but all actors want to be known more than most anything else as ‘working actors’. There are several monsters that have built up their own franchises within these so-called ‘Saturday Night Specials’. The most popular types to harken back to the golden era of the monster movies in the late 50s; giant animals and giant robots. While the movie I remember so fondly reach into organic creatures battling it out the movie on the consideration here that have in common a championship about between two battle proven combatants.
One of the bullet points on the how-to manual for film from this network whenever possible include science that is either almost plausible or has been used to some extent or another. If nothing else this will increase viewership by generating some degree of controversy among the genre fans that are prone to demanding technical accuracy and continuity. Within the context of this story the audience is not have to wait long for such an inclusion. A tugboat is arriving in Alexandria Egypt pulling a huge section of an iceberg behind it. Even on undercard is important for fighter to make a grand and impressive entrance. Suddenly the iceberg burst open releasing a megalodon from hibernation. This is your little more of actual science bandages to creep into the plot line. The megalodon actually did exist between 16 and 3 million years ago and is considered by experts in the field to be among the largest and most fearsome Alpha predators ever to exist on this planet, able to grow to over 50 feet in length. In a display of its might it flips over the tugboat high into the air which upon falling decapitates the Sphinx. By the way, the destruction of globally recognizable monuments will buildings is also on the mandatory checklist for creating a movie such as this. This fee also affords a measure of its power considering Gaza; the location of the Sphinx is several hundred miles away from the harbor. The repercussions of this unprecedented event were swift and global in scope. Oceanfront countries around the world lockdown of their ports and placed a moratorium on fishing activities. Now we get to the expected knee-jerk reaction is an organization founded for the proliferation of peace, The United Nations, begin a project to create a weapon a ribbon of sizable enough destructive power to defeat this ancient, gigantic shark, dubbed, Mecha Shark.
The project is initiated at Pearl Harbor with a pair of scientists, Jack Turner (Christopher Judge) and Rosie Gray (Elisabeth Röhm) in charge. Rosie is developing a new type of submarine that is modeled after the near aquatic perfection of its adversary while Jack is preparing to be the pilot of the craft. One of the most novel contributions that Rosie is bringing to this project is a new form of AI referred to as, Nero. Marine biologists come to the conclusion that the recently released monster is following one of the most primal instincts ever, finding a mate. I guess being imprisoned in ice for a few million years can get any creature a bit randy. This does add an exceptionally realistic motivation for the shark’s rampage. After all how would anyone feel when you’re expecting a lady shark and you wind up with a piece of metal. As an exceptionally powerful and streamlines creature it is next seen in the South China Sea. In yet another standard plot contrivance, the ultimate battle is postponed when an oil pipeline burst before the confrontation in the power of the mechanical shark must be brought to bear stopping the ecologically damaging oil leak.
There’s one thing that is often underestimated about this series of movies. They have notoriously substandard special effects and predictable plots but the actors are professional and managed to, for the most part, so their portrayals as best as possible. Those of us who remember the Saturday matinee creature features or the more intensely presented grind house monster movies, the spirit of these films is consistent with the ones we enjoyed in the past. Those of us who actually remember Neil Armstrong’s live broadcast of stepping on the moon, we will readily recall monster movies you can readily discern the costume seams or even the piece of wood stagehand is using to push the creature, the special effects used here may be significantly below contemporary standards but they are actually better than what we were used to back then. There’s also another significant difference between us and the audiences of today. There was very little on television back then and no video games host while away the hours. These movies, but all the technical flaws and missteps, is what we had. We went to the movies not to criticize the minutia and dissect the scientific accuracy. We spent bell allowance on them to have fun. In the same way you are able to appreciate an element of these flicks that may be beyond the mob and viewer; just sit back and be entertained. Learn to turn off that analytical portion of your brain and release that 10-year-old is still resides somewhere within. I’m quite certain that the people involved in this production and others like it remember those old-time movies and share in this nostalgic entertainment value they can provide. Don’t expect the cinematic masterpiece as seen in movies like ‘The Avengers’, which is open the mindset to enjoy films that would readily be fodder for Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Cast And Crew Commentary